All Weather or Winter Tires ?

Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,928
Location
Ontario, Canada
I think the major issue with all weather tires is what tread depth they no longer work in the winter. 5-6/32 is fine for a good all season but for winters of any type, performance is getting marginal.
If you are aging out tires instead of wearing out, then all weather tires are a good idea, if you don’t need the ultimate in winter traction.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,918
Location
Colorado Springs
Hard to find steel wheels any more. Particularly that fit new bolt patterns and clear larger brakes. Even Tire Rack charges more for new steel wheels than good used alloy OEM wheels.

Just bought four reconditioned 17” Volvo wheels for my Colorado car for $500 - on which I will mount four winter tires.
It shouldn’t be problem for Subaru. I got it for my Sienna in Discount Tires. But, I would go for set of good OE on Craigslist.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
3,313
Location
near Cincinnati, OH
You already know the issues. Would you, personally, (not us), be willing to trade the hassle, storage and expense to swap tires twice a year?

I don't really understand the question. A '23 Outback usually comes with tires on it, so I'd run those until time for replacement, or will the dealer put whatever tires you want on instead, at minimal extra cost?

What have you been using on other vehicles? If all season worked for you in the past, driving same roads, then all weather on an AWD vehicle should be fine.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
14,320
Location
USA
Another option: use the all-weather tires as your 3-season tire but still use dedicated snow tires for the winter :)

How many miles do you drive in a year? How long did the last tires you had last, and what were they? When do you travel south? What time(s) of the year?
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1,886
Location
Appleton, WI
I am planning on putting new General 365AW tires on my 2021 Outback next month and I live in East Central Wisconsin where we get pounded with snow every winter. I have been getting all weather tires for nearly 20 years now and have never been disappointed. Most have come from the Nokian brand but the 365AW tires look to be rock solid for the price.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
12,487
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Here is a good You Tube video comparing the all season to all weather to winter. Certainly all weather is in the middle but winters rule. I run winters but have an oversize two car garage, a large jack, impact wrench and torque wrench. I do a swap in about an hour on a Ford Taurus. When I swap the tires, I also give the threaded suspension components and brake lines a shot of Krown rust inhibitor.

Here is the video. Enjoy.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
227
Location
Lake Delton, WI
I run a summer and winter set on my '21 Crosstrek. I'm running the OEM wheels/tires for winter and once the OEM tires wear out I'll be going to a winter only tire. Probably Michelin X-Ice.

On my GF's '21 Acadia, I picked up a set of used OEM 18" wheels (as opposed to the 20's on it now) and have a set of X-Ice Snow mounted on them waiting to be bolted on.

Will wait till temps drop before putting them on and taking them off as soon as temps warm back up in spring. I guess you don't want to run them much over 40°F if you want them to last. X-Ice does have a 40,000 mile guaranty, not very common for winter only tires.

 
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2,617
Location
Vancouver
I live in a mildish climate and you still couldn't pay me to use one set of tires all year round.

We have a new '22 Forester and I just ordered some WS90's last weekend for it. I found some OE steel wheels with about 5k miles on them for $140 on Craigslist.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,928
Location
Ontario, Canada
I run a summer and winter set on my '21 Crosstrek. I'm running the OEM wheels/tires for winter and once the OEM tires wear out I'll be going to a winter only tire. Probably Michelin X-Ice.

On my GF's '21 Acadia, I picked up a set of used OEM 18" wheels (as opposed to the 20's on it now) and have a set of X-Ice Snow mounted on them waiting to be bolted on.

Will wait till temps drop before putting them on and taking them off as soon as temps warm back up in spring. I guess you don't want to run them much over 40°F if you want them to last. X-Ice does have a 40,000 mile guaranty, not very common for winter only tires.

We have Xice2's on the Outback and while they aren't the greatest snow tire, they work on ice and have excellent hwy manners, don't wear fast, and I think they will go quite a while as an all season tire. Next year will be the last summer using the OEM all season tires, and then the xice2's will become the all seasons, and I'll get a new set of winters.
That's my current strategy, buy winter tires that have good hwy manners and then run them as summers when I need new winters.
 

NO2

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
968
Location
Michigan
What's the temperature range the tires are going to see? Are you saying its going to be in the 70s, 60s, 50s frequently?

We have a set of Xi3s on our Cruze and been happy with them in NY snow. Obviously a much different car.
Our other Outback has General RT43's and Xice Snows. We travel south on shorter trips (< 1 week) during the winter to Georgia, S. Carolina, etc. where temps are in the 60's and 70's sometimes. We have used all seasons in the past but didn't like their winter performance, although we've never been stuck.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,918
Location
Colorado Springs
We have Xice2's on the Outback and while they aren't the greatest snow tire, they work on ice and have excellent hwy manners, don't wear fast, and I think they will go quite a while as an all season tire. Next year will be the last summer using the OEM all season tires, and then the xice2's will become the all seasons, and I'll get a new set of winters.
That's my current strategy, buy winter tires that have good hwy manners and then run them as summers when I need new winters.
I had them on X5 and Sienna. Better tire in every aspect except deep snow compared to Blizzak DM-V2 I also had. DM-V2 was sooo unpredictable in lateral handling in ice. No progressive loss of traction. Either it hold road or you are flying all over it.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2022
Messages
369
If it were me, I'd use winter tires on cheap steel wheels. I've used them on regular FWD cars, and it made them unstoppable in the snow. I can only imagine how good an AWD would be!

So the other set of wheels..... I assume those would be all-seasons? Surely you're not using dedicated summer performance tires on the Outback.

If you're headed far enough south, and for an extended period of time, you could just switch back to the wheels with the all-seasons.
It defies logic, but I've been caught with my RWD Lexus on A/S tires and 2" of snow. The car has trouble. With the snows on all corners as is the way today, none. Again, it defies logic. Prolly with FWD or AWD one can get away with A/S in the winter.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,957
Location
NE,Ohio
You list old tire options

IMO, You should be looking at Conti Vikingcontact 7, Blizzack ws-90, and Michelin Xice snow
on separate wheels. There are other worthy winter tires but those are the top tier.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,918
Location
Colorado Springs
It defies logic, but I've been caught with my RWD Lexus on A/S tires and 2" of snow. The car has trouble. With the snows on all corners as is the way today, none. Again, it defies logic. Prolly with FWD or AWD one can get away with A/S in the winter.
Classic mistake, mostly done by Subaru folks bcs. Subaru marketing (here it is Subaru graveyard every snow storm).
The most important safety variables are braking and handling, and it is all about tires, not RWD, AWD, or FWD.
No one died bcs. they could not accelerate as fast as they would like.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,928
Location
Ontario, Canada
Classic mistake, mostly done by Subaru folks bcs. Subaru marketing (here it is Subaru graveyard every snow storm).
The most important safety variables are braking and handling, and it is all about tires, not RWD, AWD, or FWD.
No one died bcs. they could not accelerate as fast as they would like.
TBH we picked up the car in late February and we ran ours for the first winter on the brand new all-seasons, and it was actually not too bad with narrower high profile soft sidewall all season tires with sharp full depth tread... In deeper snow or slush they were very similar to the xice2's and we even went down some unplowed logging roads surprisingly well for ice fishing.
I do think most Subaru's are sold with wider lower profile tires which changes things too, and I won't run on partially worn all-seasons in the winter... I've done that once, only for a couple days and it wasn't fun having that little reserve traction a lot of the time.
Up in the mountains, I can see how all seasons are not going to work well when pointed down a long long steep grade on packed to ice snow... Here there are hills but most intersections are on the flats and its not really that challenging to drive 99% of the time unless its been freezing rain.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Pennsylvania
Do you drive on many snow and ice covered roads? I ask because in Pittsburgh we get snow, but they salt and plow the roads so much they are usually bare.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
5,257
Location
Parts Unknown
I think the major issue with all weather tires is what tread depth they no longer work in the winter. 5-6/32 is fine for a good all season but for winters of any type, performance is getting marginal.
If you are aging out tires instead of wearing out, then all weather tires are a good idea, if you don’t need the ultimate in winter traction.
That's the same issue for all tires, including dedicated winter tires. I especially wouldn't trust a good all-season with 5-6/32" for winter use.

And in places where there are minimum tread depth, like Colorado, 6/32" is the minimum tread depth suitable for their winter use, which is pretty consistent for the rest of the world, which 4.7625mm does fall within the 4mm to 5mm minimum requirement for certain countries.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,918
Location
Colorado Springs
TBH we picked up the car in late February and we ran ours for the first winter on the brand new all-seasons, and it was actually not too bad with narrower high profile soft sidewall all season tires with sharp full depth tread... In deeper snow or slush they were very similar to the xice2's and we even went down some unplowed logging roads surprisingly well for ice fishing.
I do think most Subaru's are sold with wider lower profile tires which changes things too, and I won't run on partially worn all-seasons in the winter... I've done that once, only for a couple days and it wasn't fun having that little reserve traction a lot of the time.
Up in the mountains, I can see how all seasons are not going to work well when pointed down a long long steep grade on packed to ice snow... Here there are hills but most intersections are on the flats and its not really that challenging to drive 99% of the time unless its been freezing rain.
The problem in reality is braking and handling. And that is all about compound. I lived in Detroit. I would never run vehicles without snow tires there. Actually, regardless that CO is associated with skiing, mountains, we have very nice winters, and in Front Range, it is much easier to “get away” IMO with A/S tires than any Midwestern or New England state.
Still, I run all vehicles on snow tires.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
1,334
Location
Southern Vermont
I am retired in Vermont, and can stay home during major snow storms before roads are properly plowed. As a result, I no longer need winter tires and get by with all weather tires throughout the year.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
8,050
Location
down in the park
Not all of these will be available in the US But I found the comments near the end very intersting,

I had the original Crossclimates, which were the best fit for my winter use. I don't see snow every winter. In summer I run summer tyres. I knew instinctively the CC2 wouldn' be as good as the original for my use, and this testing confirms it so didn't get them as replacements.

 
Top